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Tolls on SCUT motorways in Portugal

Latest news about tolls on Motorways in Portugal, how to pay, what to look for etc. The system for charging tolls on SCUT motorways in Portugal came into force on 15 October 2010 we are now mid 2013 and they are less popular than ever. Estradas de Portugal reported over €30 million of unpaid tolls in 2012.

Hey Portugal has put together the following information from motorwayscutextensive research and knowledge gained from Via Verde, Estradas Portugal and other sources. We will continue to update this page as we get information from the various departments and from you.

If you have any experiences that are different from what we say here then please let us know so we can share it with other readers.

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June 2013 Update - With all the reports in the news at present about EP losing vast amounts of money operating the electronic tolls and trying to collect the 20% of unpaid tolls, combined with their ever decreasing reduction in use, we at Hey Portugal believe that the days of electronic tolls in Portugal might be numbered.

Terms Used by the various authorities

SCUT - Sem Custos para utilizador (cost-free for users)
DE – Electronic Device (this can be a DECP, DM or TD)
DECP – Compatible Electronic Devices. A Via Verde Identifier is one of these, and will work with the electronic tolls.
DEM – Electronic Registration Device
TD – Temporary Device
CTT - Post Offices

Motorway Signs
Please contact us if you see any different signs, this is what the signs will say;

The main word to look for on the new tolls is ‘electrónica’





Motorways with Via Verde Toll Booths in existence

There will be no change to these, you can continue to use the tolls with either the Via Verde Identifier or by PAYG at the booths. Well for now anyway!

Electronic Tolls

These motorways only have the overhead gantry systems, they do not have tolls booths or machines where you can Pay As You Go (PAYG) as with Via Verde Type motorway toll areas.

There are now reports in the press that these motorways are making losses of millions of Euros each year, but so far they are here to stay.

Phase 1
The first of the SCUT motorways to be converted to this system were parts of;
Grande Porto
Costa Prata
Norte Litoral (for maps and prices click here).

Phase 2
The second phase of charging which started on 8 December 2011, included the following motorways;
The A22 (Algarve) (NB. the full length will cost €11,60 for a class 1 vehicle)
A23 (Torres Novas at the A1 - Guarda at the A25) (NB. the full length will cost €18.35 for a class 1 vehicle)
A24 (Viseu-Chaves)
A25 (Vilar Formoso-Aveiro)

New Motorways
In addition to the well publicised SCUT Motorways, there are now a small number of 'new' motorways that have been converted to Elelctronic Toll. A13 - The government snook in the new Tolls on the A13 (formerly IC3) from the junction with the A23 to Santa Sita (Tomar). This changed from being an IC road to an Electronic Toll motorway over a course of one weekend. Toll charging started on 1 November 2011.
A4 - Braganca Sul to Braganca Poente
A8 - The junction with the A19 to Pousos
A19 -  The junction with the A8 and Sao Jorge (which was free IC2 road before).

IC3 became A13

IC9 (parts of) became A19

what this space...........

How to Pay for Elelctronic Tolls? 

There are essentially 2 options for Portuguese registered cars; Pre and Post Pay. Pre Pay is cheaper as you do not pay a administration fee each time.

If you have a DE (elelctronic device) then you will either pre-pay by loading an amount on to it or you will be debited automatically from your bank account as you use the tolls.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have already applied online for your DE but not received it, you will need to post Pay (as below) until you get it but if you take evidence of your application (reference number) when you pay you will not be charged the administration fee.

If you do not have a DE then you have to pay at a PayStation or CTT (post office). The system seems to have settled down now but it takes 3 days for the toll charge to appear on the CTT system so you go to pay after 3 days. The charge will show on the CTT system for 5 days but then it dissapears and you will be sent a letter plus a fine by post. 
To pay you need to know your vehicle registration number (N.B. Only Portuguese registered vehicles can post-pay) an administration fee will be added to the fee.

In December 2011 CTT provided, on its website Portal, a feature that will allow users to view unpaid tolls and the date they are due. this does not seem to do what is supposed to do, it is probably easier to go to a post office.

There is now a way to pay by Multibanco. You need to register on the CTT website, get a reference number from there then go to Multibanco and follow the instructions. All this is only available in Portuguese.

Electronic Devices (DE)

With the exception of Temporary Devices (TD) each device is registered to a particular vehicle registration number. They are not interchangeable without re-registering the device with the supplier. It is reported that EDs (either Via Verde or the ones for the SCUT tolls only) are available from all Post Offices, Via Verde offices and Motorway service areas.

Via Verde Identifiers will also work on the SCUT motorways, but the DEM and TD (electronic only devices) do not work on Via Verde Tolls, you will not be able to use the Green Lane and will need to collect a ticket and pay at the booth or machine on exit and pay manually.

More Via Verde points of sale are at Loja do Cidadão or MSCAR in;

Castelo Branco
Faro (MSCAR)
Portimão (MSCAR)

Electronic Registration Device (DEM)

This is similar to the Via Verde Identifier, in that it is attached to the windscreen. They are not attached to the Registration Plate, as has been mentioned on other websites. Due to demand, stocks of these are rare at the moment…good forward planning by the Portuguese authorities, as usual.

Temporary Devices (TD)

These can be leased from Via Verde stores and Caixa Geral Depositos bank in Spain.. The price for the leasing is proportional to the time of use, €6 for the 1st week and an extra €1,50 for following weeks (+IVA). A deposit is also payable of €27,50. The deposit is re-fundable on return of the device BUT NOT any credit remaining. 
When leasing the device, you can choose between two methods of payment:
* automatic payment: debit from a multibanco or credit card for the tolls charges used;
* prepayment: preloading a minimum of 10 Euros (light vehicles) or of 20 Euros (heavy vehicles). In this case, the preloaded and unused balance is non-refundable. (NB: This was reduced in December 2010 from 50€ and 100€)
They are not registered to a particular vehicle, so are anonymous. They are designed for short term use on the Portuguese toll motorways and so are ideal for foreign registered vehicles. 

Foreign Registered Vehicles

The government have taken notice of concerns and there is now a simpler option for Foreign Vehicles.

The website in English is still showing on the EP website but the site no longer operates. (JUne 2013)

In brief Foreign registered vehicles can now use;

Easy Toll - valid for 30 days, credit card is linked to vehicle registration and charges automatically

Toll Card - valid for 12 months, prepayment card of 5, 10, 20 or 40 euros. Balance can be checked online.

Toll Service - Valid for 3 days only, this is a prepaid ticket, ready to use with a fixed charge of €20. This system only applies to passenger vehicles.

Rent a Via Verde Device - valid for 90 days, weekly rental charged.


Additional Links:

Via Verde website

Estradas Portugal, Portagens


For more information on Driving and Cars in Portugal check out these articles

Importing your car to Portugal

Motorway Driving in Portugal

Cheap Fuel Prices in Portugal

Car Road Tax in Portugal


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